asked Her Majesty's Government:
Further to the Written Answer by Lord McKenzie of Luton on 1 November (WA 31), which indicated that they supported the European Commission's stated objective to strive for a positive statement of assurance concerning the accounts of the European Union, whether they expect that ambition to be achieved. [HL242]
The European Commission's stated objective to strive for a positive statement of assurance by 2009 will be challenging. However, we expect that action taken on the commitments to improve financial management and control made during the UK presidency in 2005, and the recent proposals announced in a Written Ministerial Statement by the Economic Secretary on 20 November 2006 (WS 18), which we have encouraged other member states to consider as well, should help to improve the level of assurance on the accounts.